Medical marijuana is a popular and growing subject in the law, and also in family law cases. Parties to Sacramento child custody cases worry about the impact of their medical marijuana use on their case. Because the issue is unsettled in the law, no one is certain of the impact it will have on your case. However, it is our experience that usage of medical marijuana is likely still very risky. While we are not criminal law attorneys, it is our understanding that medical marijuana is legal in California provided all state laws are followed. Yet, we also understand that marijuana possession is still illegal under federal law. This means that the Drug Enforcement Agency can still enforce federal laws outlawing growth, possession and distribution of marijuana.
Given the confusing conflict of federal and state law, a party’s usage of medical marijuana is a tremendous legal risk, and it is also a difficult subject in Sacramento County custody cases. Clearly, regardless of legality, if a party is using marijuana around the children, parenting while “high” or transporting the children while “high,” the Sacramento County courts will be gravely concerned about the children’s safety. Thus, they will be unlikely to give the using party any unsupervised visitation or any visitation at all. Even if a party is not using around the children, and they are willing to take risks under federal law, some judges are suspicious of medical marijuana use and that suspicion could negatively affect their custody decisions. Other judges are unwilling to wade into the social debate and are simply focused on the child’s safety. However, the safest answer is to avoid usage of marijuana to reduce the chance of an unfavorable Sacramento County judge (in addition to avoiding potential criminal legal issues).
If you are involved in a Sacramento County child custody case, and there is marijuana use involved, please give us a call today. We can help you understand the Sacramento County child custody process and discuss your concerns regarding marijuana use. We offer free half-hour consultations with experienced Sacramento County child custody and visitation attorneys.